Please note that this program does not award credits units at this time. Students will receive a certificate of completion at the end of the program. Students are encouraged to present the syllabus of this program to their advisers and petition their home university for awarding credit units internally. The IFR is standing by to help students with this endeavor.
On the Sondor Bioarchaeology Project, participants will help investigate the enigmatic fate of a late prehistoric society known as the Chanka. Situated in a region of the southern Peruvian Andes called Apurimac, the Chanka began to coalesce in earnest around 1000 CE, establishing dozens of fortresses on precipitous hilltops and ridges. Until recently, much of what we knew about the Chanka was gleaned from written accounts authored by Spanish missionaries, conquistadors, and aristocrats. Recalling the testimonies of indigenous informants, Colonial authors vividly related the trials and tribulations of Chanka chiefs and tribesmen who were singularly motivated by an incurable desire to invade foreign lands and enslave the conquered masses. Yet these lofty aspirations were never realized. Around 1400 CE, the Chanka were decisively vanquished in a grisly battle with their bitter rivals, the illustrious Inca. However, for scholars of Andean history, a nagging question still remains: What became of Chanka after their spectacular defeat? This project, situated at Sondor, the premier Chanka-Inca settlement in Apurimac, addresses that perplexing issue by examining the biological and social consequences of “growing up Chanka” in the face of Inca imperial incursion. The upcoming 2017 field season will immerse participants in a full spectrum of bioarchaeological methods and anthropologically informed research–an approach which fosters the development of skills necessary to interpret multiple data sets and test working hypotheses. Project members will engage in field recovery operations, laboratory practicums, and museum conservation work to learn how archaeological data are collected, processed, and assessed. At the conclusion of the field program, participants will be able to effectively excavate a mortuary unit as well as conduct comprehensive analyses of skeletonized and mummified human remains. For further details about this program, click here.